Service Animal Policy & Emotional Support Animal Policy




  • Service animals perform various tasks and provide services for people with disabilities, who can train their own service animals. Here are some examples:
  • Guide – serves as a travel aide for a person who is legally blind.
  • Hearing or signal – alerts a person with hearing loss or deafness when a sound occurs, such as an alarm or a knock on the door.
  • Mobility assistance – helps a person who has a mobility or health disability. They may carry, fetch, open doors, ring doorbells, activate elevator buttons, pull a wheelchair, steady a person while walking, help someone get up after a fall, etc.
  • Seizure response – warns a person of an impending seizure, or provides aid during a seizure, such as going for help or standing guard over the person.
  • Therapeutic assistance – aids people with cognitive or psychological disabilities, allowing them to live more independently. These animals may bring an emergency phone during a crisis, call 911 or the suicide hotline, turn on the lights in a dark room, bring medications, bark for help in an emergency, assist a person with panic disorder in coping with crowds, etc.

Service animals assist people with disabilities to deal with the effects of their disabilities. The most common service animals are dogs, but they may be other species (cats, monkeys, birds, etc.). Service animals may be any breed, size or weight. Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars or harnesses. Service animals are not required to have special licenses, to be certified, or to have any visible identification. (Tacoma Assistance Animals Handbook - Excerpt July 27, 2012,


Campus Policy

Service animals are allowed to remain with the handler at all times.  

A service animal must be under the control of its handler at all times.  Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others may be excluded regardless of training or certification.

Any student with a disability who is planning extended use of a service animal on campus should provide documentation of the disability to the disability services office.

Emotional Support Animals

An emotional support animal alleviates symptoms of a mental or emotional disability.  Requests for an emotional support animal will be handled on a case by case basis.  Please schedule an appointment with Peggy Perno for more information. 253.879.3395

Any animal partner dissatisfied with a decision made concerning the animal should follow the applicable institutional grievance procedure, which is explained on the Office of Accessibility and Accommodations webpage at